In the Rockpile: De La Rosa out until summer 2012

Teammates and coaches gather on the mound to talk to Jorge De La Rosa, who would leave the game for a disheartening MRI. (Karl Gehring/The Denver Post)

Despite Tuesday’s doubleheader split with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Colorado Rockies still took two losses. One being in the W-L column and the other being starting pitcher Jorge de la Rosa, who left less than four innings into the first game after experiencing soreness in his throwing elbow. He was removed after giving up three runs and later had a morale-crushing MRI that reveled he would be out for a year to have Tommy John surgery after tearing up an elbow ligament.

Losing De La Rosa is bad because he and Jhoulys Chacin lead the team with five wins each. Chacin has the better ERA, but at five wins each, you can’t complain too much about De La Rosa’s 3.51 ERA. This is going to require the “ace” — by reputation only — Ubaldo Jimenez to really step his game up. He did this week by throwing a two-hit loss against Milwaukee. Now is the true test of his make-up — we need him to save the freakin’ day with his laser arm.

The rotation is going to gain Aaron Cook soon, so the void will be filled with a fresh arm. Cook has been visibly absent, in both statistics and in fiery hair, because of a broken finger suffered in spring training. Cook will have to hit the ground running with the expectations of a number-two pitcher, like yesterday. The triple-A club was nice enough to send up Matt Daley this week in exchange for my least favorite pitcher, Felipe Paulino. Daley will join Greg Reynolds and Clayton Mortensen to make up the trio of pitchers called up from the triple-A Sky Sox this season.

All across the board, teammates will have to roll up their sleeves and get after it. Carlos Gonzalez stepped up big in the first game Tuesday by dropping two home runs over the wall for three runs. Momentum carried them into game two and the emotions were running high. Jim Tracy was ejected so fast in the third inning that Bobby Cox would want to argue that ejection, if he could. Tracy was adamant that Dexter Fowler was safe crossing home plate and rolling around with Diamondback catcher Miguel Montero. His first ejection this season and the second team ejection in a week, following Troy Tulowitzki on Saturday.

I like the guys fired up and passionate, even if ill-timed or unwarranted. That fire needs to be put to use by swinging the bats and keeping the pitching rotation as clean as possible. This team can be good; it just needs to start playing like it.

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